Experience and Influence
When people meet Bob Rae they recognize he is a politician with experience and significant expertise through years of public service. They also see a leader – someone with the wisdom and the courage to speak passionately about what matters to us as Canadians. Bob has been elected ten times to federal and provincial parliaments, winning every election he contested. Bob was Ontario’s 21st Premier, from 1990 to 1995. He has experience at the highest levels of government in Canada and was an active participant in some of the most the important constitutional talks of the day. Until recently, Bob served as Foreign Affairs Critic for the Liberal Party of Canada.
Throughout his political career he has put the interests of people first, and he carries that guiding principle with him today.
An Exceptional Record of Public Service
Education – In 2004, Premier McGuinty appointed Bob to review strategies to improve higher education. In early 2005, Bob tendered his report, “Ontario: A Leader in Learning,” Bob’s report led to significant investments for students, universities and community colleges.
Health Services – In 2000, Bob was appointed Chief Negotiator of the Canadian Red Cross Society in its restructuring after Canadian federal and provincial governments assumed responsibility for blood services.
Federalism - Bob initiated discussions to form the Forum of Federations which he served as Chair for seven years. Bob advised and worked on federalism and constitutional matters in Sri Lanka, Sudan and Iraq.
Trade and Commerce – With the re-emergence of the softwood lumber dispute in 2001, and the deal set to expire, Bob became counsel to the Free Trade Lumber Council, an organization of companies dedicated to achieving free and fair trade between Canada and the U.S. in lumber and wood products.
Aboriginal Canadians – In 2000, Bob was appointed mediator in the matter concerning aboriginal fishing rights in Burnt Church, NB and helped bring about a successful, negotiated solution.
Security – Bob served on the Security Intelligence Review Committee and in 2005 advised the federal government on questions of public interest arising from the investigation of the 1985 Air India bombing. Bob’s report, “Lessons to Be Learned,” was an important step forward in addressing this terrorist bombing.
Bob has a B.A. and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto and was a Rhodes Scholar in 1969. He obtained a B.Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1971 and was named a Queen’s Counsel in 1984. Bob has received numerous honorary degrees and awards from Canadian and foreign universities, colleges, and organizations.
He is married to Arlene Perly Rae and has three daughters, Judith, Lisa and Eleanor.
Bob was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada in 1998, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Ontario in 2004. He has proudly served the people of Toronto Centre in Ottawa as their Member of Parliament since March 2008.
Bob has written four books, published by McClelland & Stewart:
From Protest to Power: Reflections on a Life in Politics (1997)
The Three Questions: Prosperity and the Public Good (1999)
Canada in the Balance (2006)
Exporting Democracy: The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing a Good Idea (2010)